Would You Like to Set the Terms of Your Credit Card?

If you have stopped using your credit cards, would you start again if you could set the terms of your agreement?

There has been a recent trend of people getting away from using their credit cards for a variety of reasons. Many of them simply want to get out of debt. Others are freeing up some available credit in case of an emergency. Still others are afraid of the new regulations that recently went into effect because it could cost them more money in fees and charges. As a result, credit card companies are looking for ways to bring customers back.

One of the latest ideas is to allow customers to build their own credit card. Many consumers say they would start charging again if they could set their own terms. Adam Levin, an official with Credit.com, said some card companies are offering the ability to set fixed rates, variable rates, reward programs, grace periods and due dates just to entice people back to the plastic. CitiGroup is allowing customers to transfer balances from other cards to their CitiGroup account and they can pick their own interest rate.

CitiGroup is just one company that is leaving it up to the customer. American Express is testing a program in which customers can choose their benefits and rewards. They can choose discounts at their favorite restaurants, air miles and more so the customer is in more control of their rewards. Discover has also jumped into the mix by allowing some customers to choose between lower interest rates or longer term lengths.

To many analysts, this new trend may be a win-win situation. On the one hand, the credit card companies may get more of their customers back as well as some new ones due to the flexibility they are offering. As for the customers, they have more say in what they get with their credit cards and they are more likely to think about their finances more as a result. Many of the mistakes that have resulted in financial problems for millions of consumers in the last few years is that they do not take ownership of their finances. This will cause them to think about their finances more and take the time to see what is best for their lifestyle and their particular financial situation. Even some consumers have said they like the accountability of the new plan.

Regardless of the type of plan you choose with your credit card company, always be sure to read the fine print before agreeing to anything. That’s the best way to avoid unexpected charges, penalties and fees.

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